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Subject: Is it any good with 2? rss

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Enon Sci
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Just curious.

Anybody have hands on experience with this yet (Gencon, etc)? If so, mechanically speaking, what holds it back with two players?
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Dennis de Vries
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
I just played it with 2: it's possble, but the game feels more difficult. Make sure you have 2 characters who are strong in all elements together.

There is already one advantage I can think of when playing with two: you get more turns to actually play.
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
With less players you'll be burning through your deck faster and thus collect madness faster


I played it with 4 and already felt the madness creep. Can't imagine how much more you'd have to manage that bit with only 2. I'd wager drawing 6 madness occurs more often
 
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Allan Clements
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
With 2 players, your own deck is more important, so improving and thinning your deck is more valuable than giving other players actions.

Spells which target X other players are less useful than those that give one player X.
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Richard A. Edwards
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
Really sorry to hear this.

This game was big on my to-get list, but mainly I play 2 player with my girlfriend.

Cooperative game play, artwork, theme, all made us both excited to get this. But if it's not good with 2, then I guess we'll skip it. Too bad.

Thanks for the information though!
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Dennis de Vries
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
SirRoke wrote:
Really sorry to hear this.

This game was big on my to-get list, but mainly I play 2 player with my girlfriend.

Cooperative game play, artwork, theme, all made us both excited to get this. But if it's not good with 2, then I guess we'll skip it. Too bad.

Thanks for the information though!


I don't think the game is bad for 2 players. The game is different for 2 players compared to 4 players (I played 1 other game with 4 players).

As Allan said: with two players you have to work harder to get your optimal deck and optimal spells. You will take more curses when playing with 2 compared to playing with 4, but I think that's also a great part in this game to play around.

Make sure you have a lot of support, make sure you have some great spells (to cure madness or do things with madness, or use cards for free, or draw and put in support, etc.), take those early curses, as long as you survive until the end and destroy the last monster.
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Lee Fisher
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
SirRoke wrote:
Really sorry to hear this.

This game was big on my to-get list, but mainly I play 2 player with my girlfriend.

Cooperative game play, artwork, theme, all made us both excited to get this. But if it's not good with 2, then I guess we'll skip it. Too bad.

Thanks for the information though!


Who said it was not good with 2?
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Richard A. Edwards
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
lfisher wrote:
Who said it was not good with 2?

Anarchosyn wrote:
what holds it back with two players?

Menghini wrote:
it's possble, but the game feels more difficult."

Travahar wrote:
Can't imagine how much more you'd have to manage that bit with only 2.

All these comments seem to imply that it's a different, difficult albeit possible, game 2 player.

I imagine someone will argue that different and more difficult is not necessarily "bad," but for those of us who want the same/similar experience and not a harder (more difficult) game, it does lower its desirability.
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Enon Sci
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
To be fair, my quote (in the message immediately above this) was more a pointed inquiry than a declaration of fact. However, I framed it that way because, when I posted this originally, the main page specifications read: 2-5 players; best with 3; recommended 3-4.

Though this is now changed, the implication was that the 2 player count was inferior ("held back," in my parlance) by something which was remedied with 3 or 4. The first few replies seemed to confirm this hunch (or, at least, confirmed a popular conception of something holding it back).
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
I could imagine some advantages to playing with 2


In my 4p game I felt we were constantly using telepathy. Maybe in a 2p you waste less mana on that?
 
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Matt Butterfield
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
SirRoke wrote:
lfisher wrote:
Who said it was not good with 2?

Anarchosyn wrote:
what holds it back with two players?

Menghini wrote:
it's possble, but the game feels more difficult."

Travahar wrote:
Can't imagine how much more you'd have to manage that bit with only 2.

All these comments seem to imply that it's a different, difficult albeit possible, game 2 player.

I imagine someone will argue that different and more difficult is not necessarily "bad," but for those of us who want the same/similar experience and not a harder (more difficult) game, it does lower its desirability.


Wait for Rahdo's runthrough, then decide.
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Matthieu BONIN
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
If it's any help, I know the designer himself likes the game best with 2 players…
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
Mattintheweb wrote:
If it's any help, I know the designer himself likes the game best with 2 players…


What? He only had 1 friend in magic school?
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Allan Clements
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
Well, with 2 you get your turns a lot quicker so you are more involved, if you have a bad hand, you get to redraw a lot quicker. If no one has the cards needed for a curse, you both will have the chance to spend and redraw cards to get to the ones you need.

In a 4 player game, often is the case that I end my turn, then draw what we need, then the next player has to give me an action. However, after curing a curse, my hand is useless and when my next turn arrives I do almost nothing and draw back up. With 2 players, you can most likely just wait until your turn to destroy a curse and the other player can spend their air on something else.
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Matthieu BONIN
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
To the OP: Would you mind changing the title of the thread? Maybe to something less misleading like "Is it any good with 2?", or something…
I don't want to interfere, but it may give the readers a wrong impression about what you wanted to say here…
Please just ignore my suggestion if you think I'm out of line. blush
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Enon Sci
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Re: Not good with 2? Why?
Mattintheweb wrote:
To the OP: Would you mind changing the title of the thread? Maybe to something less misleading like "Is it any good with 2?", or something…
I don't want to interfere, but it may give the readers a wrong impression about what you wanted to say here…
Please just ignore my suggestion if you think I'm out of line. blush


I'd be happy to. That said, I wouldn't think "Not good with 2? Why?" would give bad press, as the statements are both interrogative and not declarative (either I'm unsure, or I'm challenging a presumption). It is also worth noting the qualitative difference between your suggestion and what I wrote -- I was specifically referencing a specific implication it was not good with 2 (in the BGG metrics), not putting out a general inquiry.

Heh, but I can respect the delicate balance of things. I'll be happy to mend my ways.

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Matt Brown
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Tom's review seemed to imply he liked it with two.

 
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Richard A. Edwards
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My girlfriend and gaming partner, and I played 2 and 4 player this weekend.

I think it's a really great game. Lots of player interaction. Very pretty and interesting. And challenging!

Our 4 player group had to play 3 times in order to win once. Experience really helped improve our play.

And each game was very different with different starting characters and different spells and different pages in the book. Lots of replay ability.

With 2 players, you get the same number of turns to solve the curses, but you do have fewer options. Only 2 special abilities, only 2 different starting sets of resources. I think it is more challenging but certainly playable and enjoyable 2 player.

A full review will be forthcoming.
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Anthony Rubbo
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I figured it would be easier with two, as you could use your purchased spells more often. Or at least, not harder.
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Richard A. Edwards
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There are 5 player turns in each round.

Each turn players can do a number of actions based on what resources (elements) they have, then refilling their hands at the end of their turn and untapping their spells at the beginning of their next turn.

So no matter the number of players, there are 5 turns to destroy all the curses and every turn allows the same sorts of actions, so the number of players doesn't matter, except...

The more players, the more different abilities (each magician has 1), which gives the group more options; the more different starting resources (each magician starts with 12 element cards but differ as to how many of each type) and curses require specific elements to destroy so the more different elects available to the group, the better chance to destroy any curse; and while each magician starts with the same four spells, buying new spells give the group new options and each player can only have 5 so having more players also allows your group to have more different spells.





 
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Indalecio
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This game is BEST with two players in my opinion.

Having two sets of spells available to you for defeating the curses is good enough to keep the game rolling and interesting.

As a player you get more turns. The more players you add the less turns you get, and "communication" betwen players doesn't really make up for it as there are only a couple of spells making your turn involve other players (aside from support which is entirely passive).

With two players you need each player to specialize. It makes the game very interesting strategically and sometimes you are in a situation when you have gotten rid of a card you actually needed, and just because two players means 10 cards you have to be extremely selective. The more players you add the more spells you have at disposal and it might not be as important to stay alert on which spells you keep because somebody else will probably have that copy anyway.

I think the game is fast and interesting with only two players and that's personally the only way I play it.

The variety/amount of choices argument for involving more players than 2 is not completely irrelevant, but because the way the game plays I find that it adds a lot to dead time as you cannot cast spells other than yours anyway (with a couple of exceptions). One negative aspect of this is that when it is your turn you have three other players trying to analyze the same things as you, which I find stressful. With two players you keep talking to one person all game long and don't have to feel overwhelmed. I tried once to play this with a person who normally has difficulties making decisions when playing games with players like me (alpha player) but who actually took the same approach as we made the game a true 1-player versus the game. You can't easily do this with 3-4 persons. Just draw 4 circles on a sheet a paper and link every circle to every other circle. That's a lot of lines which are as many communication channels you need to keep up with. Two players = straight forward, and I can garantee the game is still extremely interesting and strategically challenging (this being said I don't categorize BoM as a hard game to beat).

I will also mention that the game is very AP-prone with 3+ players.
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Cameron McKenzie
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Collectively, the players get just 30 turns in the game. So with two players, you get 15 turns each which is a lot. By the end, you will have more madness than you would have in a game with more players. However - you have more times to build up your elements and buy spells before you thrust into the endgame, so this sort of balances out.
 
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Felix Wagner
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Yttrenolv wrote:
This game is BEST with two players in my opinion.

I fully agree. I played this a lot with my girlfriend and we managed quite well. We once played with 3 players and it was okay. We played with more and it was horrible.

I stopped playing the game with more than 3 players. It wasn't any fun. As Cameron said before me, you get 30 turns regardless of the player count. With two players this means you have plenty of time to work on your deck and your spells. In the last turn we often kicked all curses within 2 or 3 turns and could end early. Because at that point our decks were really strong, no 1-value cards left (except the magician special ability needs it) but plenty of 2 or 3-value cards and spells that allow to redraw so much more cards. Dealing with madness is less of a problem. You can use your spells so many times to get rid of those cards. We usually manage to buy a lot of the available spells to really get the best from what we drew.

But with more than 3 players we never had enough time to do anything usefull with our decks. It feels like the game speeds ahead of you with no chance of catching up. 5 players is especially bad. You get one turn per monster, usually with a severly crippled hand because some of the curses already hit you. Since player turn order is fixed, if you are the last player to do something each monster, there is nothing left to do. Usually you had to drop a couple of useful cards because of the curses and if the people before you didn't get the spare Air, you are never in the position to combat curses.
With so many players, all you can do is to hope that the curses won't force you to discard too many cards before it's your turn so you can still manage to buy one or two better Element cards. Sit through 3 or 4 monsters' curses and bad effects before you can actually do something and just hope that the cards aren't against you to begin with.

With 2 players, we usually fight back during the second monster, getting the rewards and become even more powerful. I am suprised that people in here say it's not good with 2 players. To me it's just broken with more than 3 players. soblue
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Yep, 2-3 players is likely the sweet spot for this game.
 
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Enon Sci
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I didn't find it lacking in any way with two. I have yet to try it with more, but I also haven't wanted to (the game is a really tight logistical puzzle, so the more you add the harder it gets imho).

*edit: Hah! I didn't see I was the OP when I responded above (notifications took me immediately into the latest comment before I decided to add my $0.0002).

Suffice to say I was pleased with how things went with two.
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